House of the Dragon: Otto Hightower returns while the dragon Vhagar is stolen

Just after a decade time jump in last week’s episode of House of the Dragon, tensions continue to rise in Sunday night’s seventh episode.

After disappearing for several episodes after being removed as Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) returns in the seventh of 10 House of the Dragon episodes, entitled Driftmark.

The episode’s title is the island south of Dragonstone that is the home of House Velaryron, as tensions rise between Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Olivia Cooke).

Otto returns: After disappearing for several episodes after being removed as Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) returns in the seventh of 10 House of the Dragon episodes, entitled Driftmark

Tensions: The episode’s title is the island south of Dragonstone that is the home of House Velaryron, as tensions rise between Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Olivia Cooke)

The episode begins with a tomb being prepared, the body of Lady Laena, who had her dragon kill her after she could not bear her child.

The Velaryon and Targaryen families are all present at the ceremony, when suddenly Prince Daemon (Matthew Smith) starts laughing for some reason.

Her stone tomb is dropped into the sea, resting at the bottom, while we see dragons fly overhead the ceremony.

Rhaenyra approaches her son  Jace and asks where his father, telling him their cousins could use a kind word from him but he doesn’t want to.

Criston tells Alicent that Larys has been staring at her since they arrived, as we see Jace approach his cousins and offer a kind word as his mother suggested. 

Corlys approaches Lucerys and says he doesn’t want to be the Lord of the Tides because that means that everyone will be dead. 

Viserys approaches Daemon, offering kind words, saying the gods can be cruel as Daemon says, ‘It seems they’ve been especially cruel to you.’

‘You should return with us to King’s Landing. It’s time you came home,’ Viserys says, but Daemon says Pentos is his home.

Viserys says there is a place on his court for him, if that is something that he needs, but Daemon says he needs nothing, and walks away.

He sees Otto Hightower, who expresses his condolences, as Daemon tells him, ‘No matter how fat the leech grows, it always wants for another meal.’

Otto goes and gets Aegon and tells him to get to bed as night begins to fall. 

Rhaenys (Eve Best) and Corlys (Steve Toussaint) are talking in their chambers, as Rhaenys says her daughter wanted to come home and he wouldn’t let her.

Corlys says the maesters in Pentos are just as well trained as those here, as Corlys again mentions that Rhaenys should have been Queen years ago.

‘Mayhaps the gods have scorned us… For our insatiable pride,’ Rhaenys says, as Corlys adds, ‘The crown was yours until those fools at the Great Council plucked it from your head. Is it such a terrible thing for your husband to wish to win it back?’

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‘Tonight of all nights, let us lay aside this falsehood. It is not justice for your wife that drives you. It is your own ambition. ‘Tis desire for the throne if not for yourself, then for the scions of your house. I gave up the idea of wearing a crown a generation ago. It is you, lord husband, who refuses to abandon this pursuit, even now, at the cost of our children,’ she says.

Rhaenys says, ‘I want Driftmark to pass through Laena’s line to Baela. To true Velaryon blood. Declare it now, while all are gathered here, and we will say that is how we will honor Laena’s memory.’ 

He asks why she wants to, ‘disinherit our son?’ as she adds, ‘He will be the King Consort. His son will one day sit the Iron Throne. ‘

‘Rhaenyra’s children are not of your blood. But Laena’s are. They are her legacy,’ she says, but he adds, ‘History does not remember blood. It remembers names.’

The episode cuts to Rhaenyra and Daemon walking along the beach, as she tells him, ‘Laenor has been restless for years, but now, he will be useless. Or worse. I know better than anyone that our marriage is a farce. But I at least make the effort to maintain appearances.’

He tells her, ‘You have more to lose,’ and she adds, ‘Yes, well, that has been my lot since my father named me heir. We did try… To conceive a child. We performed our duty as best we could. But to no avail. There was no joy in it. I found that elsewhere. -It felt good to be desired.’

He adds, ‘I understand Ser Harwin was quite… Devoted to you,’ and she says she should have forbid him from going to Harenhaal.

Rhaenyra still clearly has feelings for her uncle Daemon, telling him, ‘You abandoned me,’ but he adds, ‘I spared you. You were a child.’

‘Yes. Yes, I was a child. And look at what my life became without you,’ she tells him.

She asks if he loved her and he says they were, ‘happy enough,’ as she starts to get close to Daemon again.

‘I am no longer a child,’ she says as they kiss on the beach before moving to another more private place ass they begin to disrobe and have sex.

Alicent’s son Aemond (Leo Ashton) is seen running along the beach, approaching the dragon Vhagar, which belonged to the late Laena, and waking it up.

He complained in previous episodes that he wouldn’t have a dragon, and was even pranked by Aegon, giving him a pet pig dressed as a dragon.

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The dragon starts to open his fiery mouth but Aemond calms him by stating, ‘Dohaeras! Dohaeras, Vhagar! Lykiri! Lykiri!’ in High Valyrian.

He issues some more commands and the dragon takes off, as a screaming Aemond struggles to hang on as the dragon ascends into the sky… while his cousins watch.

He starts maneuvering the dragon with ease, smiling and laughing atop the beast.

Meanwhile, Baela (Bethany Antonia) wakes up Jace and tells him that, ‘Someone stole Vhagar,’ not knowing it was Aemond.

Aemond returns and finds his cousins waiting for him as Baela is angry Aemond claimed the dragon that was herss to claim.

‘Vhagar has a new rider now,’ and Baela complains that was hers to claim and he says she should have claimed it then.   

‘Maybe your cousins can find you a pig to ride,’ Aemond says as a fight breaks out after Aemond says Rhaenyra’s sons are bastards. 

The fight continues until Aemond gets sliced over his eye when the knight Harrold Westerlig breaks it up. 

The whole family gathers as Viserys demands answers about what happened and the maester says Aemond’s eye has been lost.

Rhaenyra’s sons say that Aemond called them bastards, which is clearly a touchy subject that Viserys never wants broached. 

‘It was my sons who were attacked and forced to defend themselves. Vile insults were levied against them.The legitimacy of my sons’ birth was put loudly to question,’ Alicent says

They ask where Ser Laenor is as Alicent jokes he is probably entertaining young squires, as Viserys demands to know where Aemond heard those lies.  

He says Aegon told him, and Viserys asks where he heard it and he says, ‘Everyone knows. Just look at them.’ 

Viserys says, ‘This interminable infighting must cease! All of you! We are family! Now make your apologies and show good will to one another. Your father, your grandsire, your king demands it!’    

‘That is insufficient. Aemond has been damaged, permanently, My King. “Good will” cannot make him whole,’ Alicent says.

He asks how she wants to be ‘made whole’ and she says, ‘I shall have one of her son’s eyes in return.’     

‘Do not… Allow your temper to guide your judgment,’ Viserys says, as Alicent says, ‘If the King will not seek justice, the Queen will. Ser Criston… Bring me the eye of Lucerys Velaryon.’

‘He can choose which eye to keep, a privilege he did not grant my son,’ Alicent says, as Rhaenyra says, ‘You will do no such thing.’

‘And let it be known: Anyone whose tongue dares to question the birth of Princess Rhaenyra’s sons should have it removed,’ Viserys says as Rhaneyra thanks him.

Alicent pulls out a dagger and decides to take it out on Rhaenyra, trying to attack her but she was stopped. 

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Aemond says, ‘Do not mourn me, Mother. It was a fair exchange. I may have lost an eye… But I gained a dragon.’

Last week’s episode – The Princess and the Queen – moved the narrative forward 10 full years, with Olivia Cooke taking over as Queen Alicent from Emily Carey and Emma D’Arcy replacing Milly Alcock as the older, adult Princess Rhaenyra.

The episode ended with Rhaenyra, fed up with life in King’s Landing, returning to her family’s ancestral home, Dragonstone.

It had been established in earlier episodes that Rhaenyra would let her husband Laenor (John Macmillan) secretly live his homosexual lifestyle as long as they remain married as part of their duties to the crown.

Adult: Last week’s episode – The Princess and the Queen – moved the narrative forward 10 full years, with Olivia Cooke taking over as Queen Alicent from Emily Carey and Emma D’Arcy replacing Milly Alcock as the older, adult Princess Rhaenyra

Return: The episode ended with Rhaenyra, fed up with life in King’s Landing, returning to her family’s ancestral home, Dragonstone

While Rhaenyra and Laenor are a mixed-race couple, all three of their children are white, as it’s learned Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr) has been having a secret affair with Rhaenyra and has fathered their children.

Despite the obvious looks of the children, rendering it obvious that Laenor is clearly not their father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine) wants to hear no gossip on the matter, even subtly threatening his wife if she brings it up again.

The King is clearly content living a lie, though a fight with Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) lead Hand of the King Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes) to send his son back to his home at Harrenhaal.

Laenor: While Rhaenyra and Laenor are a mixed-race couple, all three of their children are white, as it’s learned Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr) has been having a secret affair with Rhaenyra and has fathered their children

Last week’s episode ended with quite the shock, with Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) betraying his own family to try and form an alliance with Queen Alicent.

Larys hired a number of criminals (before cutting their tongues out) to follow Lyonel and Harwin to Harrenhaal, as they set their chamber ablaze, killing them both.

Queen Alicent was clearly terrified by the revelation of his actions, as Larys is heard telling Alicent in the trailer that she has to be ‘feared’ to be an effective queen. 

Terrified: Queen Alicent was clearly terrified by the revelation of his actions, as Larys is heard telling Alicent in the trailer that she has to be ‘feared’ to be an effective queen

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